If a restaurant gives you food poisoning, you won’t eat there anymore. They broke your trust; you move on.
If a stranger does shoddy work painting your house, you fire them. You’re not obligated to do business with them again.
If a guy sells you a lemon your trust will be shattered but who cares? You don’t live with the guy.
But if someone you love, someone you’ve spent years with, and someone you want to grow old with betrays you the issue of trust becomes super important. They broke promises, broke vows, they threw you under the bus. Things you hoped a loved one would never do happened. And the things you thought a loved one would do did not happen.
Dumping them like a bad restaurant, lousy house painter, or unscrupulous salesman sometimes isn’t an option.
To trust again means risking again. One of the sad realities of living in an unpredictable universe is that the universe is unpredictable. This includes unpredictable spouses. There are no guarantees your spouse will not betray again. There are also no guarantees that they will betray again. (If they promise to betray again, um, why are you in this relationship?)
There are no guarantees so it’s up to you to decide how to live in an unpredictable marriage (not to mention unpredictable economy, body, family, business, church, school, club, team, or neighborhood).
To quit worrying about the future trust yourself to handle whatever comes. Betrayal likely shattered your beliefs but it didn’t shatter you. Here are some new beliefs to embrace.
- It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
- My ability to trust is a virtue not a liability.
- I refuse to pay the price of mistrust.
- If I don’t have the ability to give trust it’s unlikely my partner will trust me.
- I’ll quit asking, “When is it safe to trust?” and start asking, “When is it unsafe not to trust?”
- I’ll quit waiting for a sign from heaven that it’s okay to trust again. God doesn’t deliver “Time to Trust” permission slips.
- I will set limits on how much betrayal I can endure and have an exit plan in case of an emergency.
- Uncertainty is the human condition. Trust means, “learning to live at peace with uncertainty.”
- I’ll quit waiting for trust to return. Trust is a decision.
- By keeping my partner on a short leash I’m not learning how to trust; I’m avoiding risk and trying to control the universe.
- The spiritually minded tell themselves, “I abandon myself to divine providence,” or, “Jesus was betrayed and he identifies with me,” or, “God is in control.”